Karen Barbour

aren is a passionate dancer, choreographer and teacher, working as a Senior Lecturer in dance at the University of Waikato for over ten years. She is also chairperson of Waikato Contemporary Dance Projects Trust. Karen trained in contemporary dance at Unitec and now choreographs and performs regularly, including in site-specific performances. In teaching Karen combines contemporary dance techniques with yoga, improvisation, releasing and somatic approaches to moving to create empowering and enjoyable learning in dance. In 2011 Karen published her book Dancing across the page: Narrative and embodied ways of knowing and she regularly writes academic articles, stories and reviews as well as creating digital dance works.

Patti Mitchley

Patti has been working in community and educational dance practice since 2003. She is the founder and director of Whaingaroa Youth Movement, a group of sixty, four to sixteen year olds. This Raglan based group focuses on nurturing creative self-expression, creative collaboration, personal well-being and performance skills. Patti is a passionate advocate for community and youth development and sees dance as a vehicle for a positive creative and healthy lifestyle, accessible to all. Her extensive experience in hospitality and small business has been pivotal in the skills required to produce and support arts events.

Marie Hermo Jensen

Marie was born in Hammerfest, Norway. She studied dance at the School of Contemporary Dance in Oslo and London Contemporary Dance School (BA Hons). She works for Stellaris DansTeater (Norway), where she started her professional career in 2003. In 2004 she debuted as a choreographer and has shown work around the Barents Region and in New Zealand. Marie works as a dance artist through stellaris dance nz, and is a trustee with Waikato Contemporary Dance Projects Trust. Marie creates websites for dance related organisations connected to Stellaris DansTeater.

Helene Burgstaller

came to New Zealand from The Netherlands to work as a vet. After years of neglecting her creative side, she rediscovered her lifelong interest in dance and decided to study contemporary dance at Unitec in Auckland. She has a background in classical ballet, jazz, gymnastics and contemporary dance.

Caterina Laschke

is an Italian/German freelance dance artist and had tertiary training in contemporary dance at Unitec in Auckland and the University of Waikato. Cat is working as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in New Zealand, Germany and London.

Eve Veglio-White

trained at London Contemporary Dance School and worked as a dancer in London with physical theatre company Dante or Die and various other choreographers before coming to New Zealand in search of adventure. She took a break from dancing before finding Waikato Contemporary Dance Projects Trust and is very excited to be working on this unique project.

Harrietanne Embling

is currently in her third year at the University of Waikato studying primary school teaching. Harrietanne has a background in Ballet and Contemporary dance. However she now competes internationally in Ballroom and Latin American and holds 6 New Zealand National Titles.

Marangi Hare

(Iwi: Tuhoe) recently graduated from Whitireia Performing Arts in Wellington. She has a strong passion for dance and singing and loves to embrace her Māoritanga. 


Kartika Leng

is a costume designer, primarily ‘dance’ focused and studied fashion and pattern making at AIT. After a shift to the Waikato she then worked for a number of years in women’s fashion. Kartika began to explore the art of costume and design with her creations being shown locally in exhibitions and competitions. Kartika has been designing for dance productions within her Raglan community and Waikato Contemporary Dance Projects Trust for a number of years.